Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Improvising My Way Through Life

When I moved to Petaluma a few years ago, I left behind a dynamic and creative life in San Francisco. I had a wonderful group of friends who I collaborated with on all sorts of projects, from zines, to Church of Craft gatherings, to a community access television show.

An illustration in the Cubby Missalette by Tristy Taylor

Those people are still very much in my life, but Petaluma is a long drive from San Francisco, so I don't get to share in as much fun with them as I used to.

One of the things I loved doing in San Francisco was improv. Improvisational theatre is a form of theatre in which the actors use improvisational acting techniques to perform spontaneously. I had the best teacher in the world, who recognized my talent and crazy imagination and encouraged me to stretch and try out my improvising wings in a number of different formats.

I fell in love with improv. For me it really is a spiritual practice (and you know I find spirituality in the strangest of places). When I walk out on to that stage, I don't know what is going to happen. I find I must trust a greater power than myself to come in and guide me and my fellow actors to a place of passion, interest and laughter. I am always surprised and amazed at what comes out of my mouth, or how my body starts to move. I find new aspects of my personality that I never knew I had. It was improv, actually, that helped me discover my inner preacher, that lead me on my path to ordination as an Interfaith Minister!

I was amazed to discover that once I started improvising again, my life started to shift. Suddenly opportunities that used to scare the daylights out of me weren't intimidating anymore. I take far more risks than I ever used to, knowing deeply in my heart that I will be O.K. - that there is something bigger than myself that is watching and guiding me.

Through a series of interesting events, I have found an improv troupe to perform with. We are the 6th Street Players and we will be performing the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month in Santa Rosa, CA, until at least June 2009. So our next shows are January 10th and 24th. Please come and see us perform! Buy some tickets!

I have found a new community of beautiful, creative, crafty geniuses in this group. There is something so powerful in connecting with people who truly are a part of my tribe. 

I want to encourage you to take the leap and do something you have always wanted to do. Is there someone who interests you whom you have never spoken to? Go up and say hello! Have you always wanted to learn how to paint? Learn how to ride a motorcycle? Put on a Puppet Show? Do it! Stay open to all the beautiful possibilities in your life and improvise!

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